Being a Tourist in Your Own City

“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.” ― C. JoyBell C.

Tourists

Managing a restaurant in the heart of Observatory has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have met so many wonderful people here in the little space. We have many students from over the oceans who come to our country to explore and learn. To open their eyes and experience different cultures & to grow as people. My most recent students that left Emma and Ashleigh were so sad that they had to leave this beautiful country that they both cried for almost two days.

What is it about this place

I often think negative thoughts about our country. The slow internet is enough to make me want to move the other side of the world. Then there is the crime rate, our ever failing government and the petrol price! When I think about moving though – I get very sad. We are so lucky to live in this beautiful country. Rich with culture and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. We have the most magnificent scenery, in Cape Town along it only takes a 1hr drive to experience completely different biodiversity, different wild life and a breath taking new view.

Where to start?

Well living in Cape Town I would start with the most obvious if you haven’t done them yet.

  1. Table Mountain Hike/ Cable Car – You can redeem a FREE ride up the cable car on your Birthday with the proof of you South African ID. There really is no excuse for you not to go! For those of you are more fit and are looking for a challenge take a HIKE. Once you are on the top of our majestic mountain that is over 600 MILLION YEARS OLD you can’t help but think that there is more to LIFE. The views are breathtaking and it stirs something inside you standing on the edge over looking oceans that go on for ever.

    The majestic views from Table Mountain
    The majestic views from Table Mountain
  2. Robin Island – Yes the struggle was real and our country had hardships through the apartheid regime. Robin Island is a great way to embrace our history. Standing in Mandela’s small cell with nothing more than a mattress, I can’t help but believe even though we go through hardships in our own lives; it should NEVER stop us from changing other LIVES. Another important life lesson I personally learnt from Mandela is the power of forgiveness.

    My all time favourite quote from Tata Mandela
    My all time favourite quote from Tata Mandela
  3. Cape Point – This is actually not where the two oceans meet. The Southernmost tip in Africa is actually Cape Agulhas. Never the less, Cape Point is special. The drive alone is breathtaking. You can stop at various places along the drive and look out across the oceans. This time of year you are likely to spot a few Humpback Whales. I recommend taking the Simon’s Town Route to get to Cape Point. There are so many awesome places to stop including museums, galleries, stalls, beaches and restaurants.

    Lots of baboons at Cape Point
    Lots of baboons at Cape Point
  4. The Wine Route- Not everybody drinks wine, and not everybody has to. The wine route can be enjoyed by all. My favourite are all the farm stalls along the way. You can go pick strawberries and get lost driving around. If you are heading that way, pack a picnic basket and make your way to Jonekershoek Nature Reserve. One of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done. It took us 3hrs to hike up to most glorious waterfall. Once you are deep in the valley you feel as though you are in other country, maybe even another planet. You can lie on your back and look up into the sky, watch the birds fly over your head and enjoy the serenity.

    Glorious Water Fall in Jonkershoek Nature Reserve
    Glorious Water Fall in Jonkershoek Nature Reserve

My blog post could be over 100 pages long telling you about all the beautiful things Cape Town has to offer, never mind the rest of our amazing country, but the point that I am trying to get across is: before you go and bankrupt yourself on an overseas trip go get lost in your own city/country first. There is so much to see and so much to do. Let’s all be tourists in our own city.Miracle

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Fatties & Moanies

A blog post about weight & exercise

Featuring Full Circle Wellness

Dr Phill

My weight has been a struggle all my life, even when I was at my most active in high school I was still heavy. I got called names and made fun of. I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) at a young age – First Gynae appointment at 16 is not a joke! I remember going into the exam room, having seen woman on TV put the little towel over their legs I did the same. When the Gynae walked into the room he looked at me smiled and said… “My dear the towel is to put over your head, not your legs. If you can’t see me you can’t get embarrassed, and if I can’t see you I can’t get embarrassed!” The reason I am telling you about my very private parts and lady bits is because it influences weight. The irony is that like diabetes it can be reversed if you lose weight, but the disease makes it really hard. So from the age of 16 I’ve tried every diet under the sun except for the cabbage diet – I am naturally gassy and could imagine that would not be a good diet for those around me!

Skinny

I HATE GYM. In my mind one would expect to see fat people at gym, but every time I have been I have been stared at! I also can’t stand the male ego in a gym (sorry guys) looking at your muscles in the mirror will not make them any bigger!

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting at work with the smell of chocolate croissants wafting through the air and thought to myself “Wanita, I know you are comfortable with your weight, but enough is enough it’s time to shed some kilos!” I jumped onto Google and found Full Circle Wellness. For the first time in a long time I was so nervous and excited to start getting fit. Knocking on 30’s door really does put a lot into perspective. They say once you hit 30 weight becomes hard to get rid of, because you have been friends for so long and who wants to say goodbye to a lifelong friend!

Girls and guys in action at Boot Camp
Girls and guys in action at Boot Camp

I emailed Claire who almost immediately replied and was so excited that I was keen to get fit and drop some kilos. Claire does personal training and she offers Boot Camp classes on a Monday and Wednesday (Mixed sexes) Tuesday and Thursday (All girls). I decided I would be more comfortable in front of woman and joined the Tuesday/ Thursday class. The first night driving to boot camp my heart was racing really fast and I was so scared. I smoked about 3 cigarettes before I got out the car – which was not conducive to my first night of boot camp. I was so relieved when I walked in the door! There were woman of all ages and sizes. There were really fit woman and woman who were more on my fitness level. Claire pumped up the jams and we began. I was surprised at how well Claire knew the muscles of the body and offered advice as not to hurt yourself.

What a work out! We worked all the muscle groups that night. I have been going for about one and a half months and we have never done the same exercise twice with the exception of Planking and Burpees (Those fuckers always crash the party!)

Planking FAIL
Planking FAIL

Burpees

Last night Claire had us do a Planking competition. The winner of the competition wins a Lotto Ticket bought by Claire. (Hope it is a winning one!) When I started Boot Camp I couldn’t even Plank for 20s. Check out my time below! (1 minute Biatches!)

Planking

I have lost a little bit of weight, but it is about more than that for me at this point. At this point it is about being able to run 5km, it is about my core being stronger and better posture. At this point it is about being healthy, having fun while exercising and going on my own weight loss/ fitness journey and revelling in my boot camp mates journeys.

I run

I want to be that person we all hate who wakes up in the early hours of the morning in the pouring rain and decides it will be fun to go for a run. I know it is going to take a while – weight loss is not an overnight goal, neither is fitness.

Planking 2

For those of you who are keen to get into shape – no matter what shape you are. Claire offers a free trail class. Come and check it out you have nothing to lose (except maybe a few kilos)!

Check out the Full Circle Wellness website

http://fullcirclewellness.co.za/

Like them on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/FullCircleWellness?fref=ts

How Generosity Saved Our Wedding

Since Anita and I started planning our wedding last year we were faced with challenges from the get go! Homophobic behaviour, trying to find an affordable wedding venue that allows outside catering and many more shit things we had to get through. This is not going to be a BITCH session though. This blog post is a CELEBRATION about amazing people and the generosity that brought me to tears.

compassion

We decided for our wedding we were going to book through the City of Cape Town and use the Alphen Hall in Constantia. We paid our deposit early in the year and all was well. It was the perfect spot for what we wanted to accomplish with our wedding. They have a beautiful outside area where we were going to have the ceremony, a beautiful stoop for drinks afterward, a lovely open park for photographs and a hall to celebrate and dance the night away as a newly married couple. However all our dreams where shattered when we received a phone call to say that they can no longer accommodate our wedding? We were also asked to refer to clause 14 where it states that The City of Cape Town can cancel your event with 48hrs notice – and no reason!

City of Cape Town

Of course I jumped on the phone to my mom and cried my heart out. I was not angry, I was so so devastated. We had booked our caterers, photographer and our decor for inside and outside with the venue specs in mind. My mother was obviously just as devastated as we were. Find a wedding venue was hard enough, to go through that process again so close to the wedding seemed almost impossible! My mom reminded me that everything happens for a reason and good would come of it. I half heartedly believed her.

When I started planning our wedding I joined a group on Facebook called “Your Wedding Second Hand”. It is a group where brides and grooms can ask advice, voice opinions, sell products and generally just receive support. I love this group and the people on it- and found it so helpful.

After the anger settled I decided to WARN brides on the group about the clause on the contracts so that no one else was caught off guard and another wedding was ruined. The whole cancellation came about when I sent an email to enquire about how much money was still owed and referred to my fiancé Anita.

I received tons of messages about brides and suppliers that were totally shocked about what had happened to me. People I don’t know from a bar of soap offered to help find new venues, offered legal advice and moral support. That in itself was overwhelming. In today’s day and age it is very difficult to find people who care who are not your friends or your family. The feed soon escalated to over 50 comments, but what happened next had me in tears in the middle of a work day. (Good tears not sad ones.)

A lady by the name of Linda who owns a company called OH SO PRETTY PLANNING (http://ohsoprettyplanning.com/) offered her wedding planning services FREE of charge. She was so upset by what had happened to us and feels strongly about weddings and it being a very sacred and special day, no matter what creed or colour. I know from planning my wedding and receiving numerous quotes that wedding planning does not come cheap. Linda from the bottom of my heart – Anita and I would like to thank you for your generous offer. You are an angel. Ladies and gents if you need help planning your special day be sure to get hold of Linda. I can tell she will make sure your special day is FLAWLESS!

My wedding photographer Leigh-Anne Oosthuizen from L.A Photography (https://www.facebook.com/laphoto.co.za?fref=ts&ref=br_tf); who does the most amazing natural photography; offered to do an engagement shoot for us FREE of charge! People where generally just so amazing! It made the whole situation with The City (Shity) of Cape Town so much more bearable.

A lady by the name of Tammy Haylock from Touche’ (https://www.facebook.com/Toucheperfection?fref=ts) kindly offered to do our makeup on the day. I was sitting at work with tears rolling down my cheek because people were just being so generous and GREAT! It has been a long time since I experienced such sincere concern and generosity from others. I felt this warm fuzzy feeling in my heart and if my heart had a face it would have a massive smile on it!

Glynne Hartzenberg was kind enough to offer me her wedding shoes (if only my fat foot could fit into a size 4). She then told her husband the story who has offered his service as a graphic designer to make our wedding invitations. His company is called Behance. (https://www.behance.net/gallery/23281275/Printed-wedding-invitations)

All you angels will never truly know how deeply you have touched our hearts. You people are single handedly responsible for restoring my faith in humanity. Thank you for accepting Anita and I for who we are – A couple so in love with each other that we cannot wait to celebrate our love for each other with our family and friends.

There may be a bunch of assholes in this world – but there are WAY more angels.

Lots of Love & Light

The Nitas

xoxoxox

Me & Anita

A Customer’s Guide to Etiquette

Being in the restaurant industry you are on your feet some days for more than 10,5hours a day.

The hospitality business is all about service, and I have always believed that customer is KING! At what point though do people (customers) start misusing this conception that most hospitality representatives have?

I myself am not an easy customer and generally expect things to go according to plan when I am out for dinner, or buying shampoo at Clicks! How naïve of me though!? Shit happens all the time in life, and I am the first to admit that I have perhaps given a waitress lip where she didn’t really deserve it, or made angry eyes at a Checkers employee when they couldn’t answer for why there was no more of a certain special!

I think that in today’s day and age everyone feels that complaining is a birth right, and YES it is. If we all just shut up things won’t improve at all, but I do feel like there are ways to get what you want without shouting at the poor guy who is just in charge of removing the “vrot” lettuce from the fridge and has no idea what special I am rambling on about.

So here are my customer guide lines to etiquette and getting what you want

1. In my opinion the very first thing you should do when you are not being treated fairly or there is lack of service etc. is asking for the manager. He/she is the one getting paid to make sure that things run smoothly. If for whatever reason the manager is not available ask for their cell number. All managers deserve a day off so they are not available 24/7 but I would be more than willing to answer my cell after hours and listen to a concerned customer.

2. Don’t be an asshole! If you act like one, chances are you will be treated like one. I know it shouldn’t be this way – but it is!

asshole

3. If you have received NO satisfaction from the manager; then it is time to step it up a notch, after all we all lead busy lives. I would now ask for the owner’s number or head office!

service 2

4. Strike 3 you’re out! If you have had no luck with the manager or the owner or the head office. It’s time to speak your mind on social media. Almost all companies these days have a social media page in one form or another. PLEASE DO NOT SKIP STEP 1 and 2 and JUMP STRAIGHT TO 3. A bad social media review can end a company, so be 100% sure you have tried everything else before defaming their name across Twitter or Facebook.

5. If after step 3 you are still not a winner. Give up! Pour yourself a glass of wine and forget all your troubles. Let’s face it, in today’s day and age we have to pick our battles!

wine

6. I always believe in second chances. If I still receive bad service from a company I will not return. It is that simple. Don’t give yourself extra wrinkles it is not worth it!

 

The Diary of an Insomniac

There is nothing worse than staring at the ceiling at 02:30 stressing yourself out because you have had NO sleep (not because you were jolling) and you know you have a full day of work ahead of you!

Your partner is gently snoring next to you, oblivious to the fact that you are wide awake wondering how many elephants there are in Africa.

Well, about two weeks ago this was my reality and if it was not for Anita, I would have been admitted to the loony bin.

It started on a Saturday after an evening spent at our good friends Conny and Gayle in Table View. We got home and jumped into bed. Three hours later I was still wide awake and Anita was fast asleep. I put it down to eating too late and got up for work. The next day (Sunday) after being at work all day I was convinced that I was going to be snoring big Zees’ that night. Ha! What a joke. Same story: I was wide awake and staring at the ceiling, thinking about absolutely nothing in particular. Again I stood up the next morning dazed and exhausted!

I decided I would pop into the doctor down the road from work to give me a script for some sleeping pills. He said it could be caused by stress – as our bodies go through different cycles – and handed me my script. That night, Anita and I went to the pharmacy for my pills. OMG people! These silly pills did NOTHING except for make me really mad that they were not working. The doctor told me to take half a pill. I took TWO! Anyway, same story – wide awake the WHOLE night.

The next day I went back to the pharmacy and got a herbal sleeping pill. This too did NOTHING for me. By this stage all the episodes of House, Greys Anatomy, The Blackbox and every other medical series I have ever watched stared flooding my mind with possible “realities” about why I was not sleeping. I thought to myself “maybe it is a brain tumour, maybe I have had a mental melt down and some part of my brain has stopped registering when it is night and day, maybe I had a stroke’’. I also thought maybe I had reverse narcolepsy! My dear readers, if you have ever had insomnia – my deepest condolences! It is truly the worst feeling in the world. So bad that that I made Anita take me to the ER.

After another cocktail of sleeping pills, I managed to get 5 hours of sleep. I was in tears, had numerous panic attacks, and kept my poor fiancé out of her sleep because I just couldn’t shut down. Now I am on Rescue Remedy tablets and a sleeping pill called Zopimed.

Last night when I went to refill my script for the Zopimed the Pharmacists asked me if I was still not sleeping? I told him I was doing better, but couldn’t get any sleep without the help of my pills. He looked at me strangely then said ‘’has your doctor tested your magnesium levels?’’ Of course he hadn’t. The pharmacist then told me that if you have depleted your magnesium in your body it can cause quite the stir! Lack of magnesium can cause muscle cramps, insomnia, tiredness and a whole list of problems. I thought this very interesting and he showed me to the isle of Slow Mag. It is slow releasing magnesium with added vitamin C. (no added vitamin “P”- that daily dose is sourced in the bedroom, or kitchen counter depending on your preferences!)

I truly hope that this is the root problem to my sleepless nights. I hate taking pills and the ones I am on now leave an awful taste in my mouth.

Here are some tips for you to follow if you are not sleeping:

Tip 1:Getting out of bed   

Get out of bed – I noticed that if I stayed in bed I panicked even more and started associating my bed with panic.

Tip 2:

Insomnia 2

Go and get yourself comfortable on the couch with a big ass bowls of snacks – If you are going to be awake all night might as well catch up on some series and enjoy it!

Tip 3:

Funny cat OMG

Go and get yourself some magnesium – You never know if you might just be lacking some nutrients and vitamins. If you are a smoker like me, you probably should be taking magnesium supplements.

Tip 4:

Drugs

If it has been a few nights and you still can’t sleep – for heaven sakes go see your Doctor and give into the drugs.

Tip 5:

sex funny

Physically exhaust yourself – have a sex marathon, run around your house or go take a brisk walk in the park.

I am no doctor but I hope that this story and my tips have helped some of you.

Happy sleeping

 

The Icing on the Cake

The Icing on the Cake

Love Has No Sex

Hello my dear readers. I hope that you have all enjoyed your long weekend. It will be the last till August! (Bwahahahahah – Evil Laugh)

Anita and I have been planning our wedding for the last 6 months, which has been one hell of a rollercoaster ride! I have cried as well as laughed through this process. I’ve had my grumpy moments and on some days I think to myself –Ah let’s just get married in court and go for dinner afterward! Anyone who has had a wedding or planning a wedding can understand the stress, but also the pure joy of booking your venue and shopping for the final touches.

But ALAS this blog is not about the planning stages of our wedding (it will be coming soon though!), it is however a BITCH session about how ignorant people still are in the year 2015 about homosexuality.

Anita & I were told that there were really nice wedding stationery items available at a certain stationery shop in Access Park by a friend. So off we go one Saturday to said stationery shop only to find out that they have no more stock and the kind sales lady sends us off to their branch in Century City. I walked in the door and was greeted by a very gay (happy) sales person. I told him I was looking for wedding stationery items, specifically their bunting banners that said “Mrs & Mrs.” the sales person then burst out laughing a said: “ahahahah honey, you won’t find that here, we don’t do that, but I will bring it up in our next sales meeting!” Again he started laughing and said: “Ha who I am kidding? We don’t even have those!’’

Well I never! One of my favourite shops broke my heart – something I never thought possible. Every single wedding item they had for sale was branded with Mr & Mrs not ONE single item with Mr & Mr or Mrs & Mrs! I proceeded to send them an email as they are a well know stationery shop and I felt very strongly on the situation. (Nothing came of this email except a half arse explanation of it being the “start” of more to come!).

The exact same thing happened to us at a very well-known stationery shop in Maitland – although more helpful and willing to design specially for us certain items – there was not one thing we could take off the shelf and pop into our trolley.

We experienced homophobic behaviour when we called to make appointments for certain venues, photographers and even when I called caterers. The minute certain places heard we were a same sex couple, all of sudden the venue had been book, or they accidentally double-booked on the caterer or the photographer’s mother was going to pass away a year from now and the funeral would be on that day!

To all these wedding vendors this is my message to you:

Wake up and smell the roses sunshine! Love sees no colour, no race and certainly does not see religion. So no I will not put my foot in your store EVER again, I will tell my friends to never support your shop, I will NEVER eat at your venue, I will never recommend your services to others.

Hetrosexual Blog Pic

I would also like to thank the other vendors from the bottom of my heart for going the extra mile for us, for making us feel special and for respecting our love for each other. To Ghadija- thank you for putting your religious beliefs behind you and for making the most beautiful wedding stationery for us. It might be your job, and you may get paid for it, but your act of kindness will remain with me for a very long time.

Readers please be kind to each other, respect each other! We all deserve love no matter what form it comes in.

I leave you with a very special YouTube video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cen7NhfpMVE

Nostalgia

What is Nostalgia?

Nostalgia definitionThe definition is quite simple on the internet:

But I can’t help think that nostalgia is more than just a memory or longing for a past memory. Nostalgia to me is like a bone in my body: it is part of me, a past experience that changed my life in one way or another.

The Good Old Days:

Christmas 2012
Christmas 2012

I remember as a little girl growing up on a farm in the Freestate (I think I was about 3 or 4), listening to Mango Groove with my parents and dancing on our big round mat in the lounge area. That was when I really taught myself to dance and shake my booty. Till this day, when I listen to my favourite radio station (Smile FM 90.4fm), it takes me back to being that little girl with not a care in the world, dancing around on a round mat. I have thousands of memories and songs that make me nostalgic.

Certain smells make me nostalgic and make me think of people in my past. People that have moved onto the next life. My favourite aunty who past away many years ago used to wear an Este Lauder perfume in a red and gold bottle. When I happen to smell that on someone or when walking around a shopping mall, it is an instant flash- back of the two of use acting silly. That very same aunty (her name was Maggie) used to send me care packages every month or every year. God I miss her. Her packages were made with love and posted with all sorts of treats. When I used to visit them in the holiday she used to make us boiled egg, viennanas and Bovril on toast with Aromat. Till this day when I truly miss her I will make that very same dish and reminisce on the good old days, when I was young and carefree.

The smell of Mr Min Lavender polish reminds me of my mother and takes me back to the days when my dad used to work night shift and her and I used to clean the house together, dancing and laughing; making light of the work at hand.

The band Queen will always remind me of my dad! Full blast in the car as he played air drum on the steering wheel! If I close my eyes it is literally like I am there in that moment.

Cadbury’s top deck chocolate, the smell of cigarette smoke and Milo milkshakes will always make me reminisce and think about my best friend Shannon and our very first flat that we moved into after high school.

There are literally thousands of things that make me nostalgic – Geez even the petrol price could take a few people back!

What Is My Point?

Take some time out! Put your old favourite CD in the CD player, pour yourself a glass of wine and just sit. Let the memories flood your mind and rejoice in the good times you have had in your life. Remember, the people who have played a role in making you who you are today. One of these days you might forget!

Some of the memories might bring tears, you might burst out laughing; but NEVER NEVER EVER forget those memories that have made you what you are. The people who have made you who are you.

This blog is my tribute to all the people I have lost in my life.

Jade Potgieter – My best friend when I was six who past away from very aggressive Leukaemia. Thank you for performing Spice Girl concerts with me and teaching me that no matter how scared we might be in life, you must- enjoy every moment till the bitter end.

We use to eat a whole loaf of bread with peanut butter
We use to eat a whole loaf of bread with peanut butter

Aunty Magie – I have no words to express my gratitude for having had you in my life! Thank you for watching Junior with me a thousand times. Thank you for all my packages and thank you for being my mother’s rock. God I miss you so much! Keep watching over us, – okay?

My beautiful Aunty
My beautiful Aunty

Ouma – Thank you for teaching me compassion. Wherever you might be, I want you to know that I will look after you all over again if I ever had the chance. I would also have paid more attention to our baking lessons.

Me and my Ouma

Oupa – Geez thank you for teaching me to play Snooker like a pro. For waking me up at 5:30am to fetch eggs from the hen pen. For never judging me about my weight. Thank you for your sloppy kisses and for teaching me how to pour a proper whiskey.

My Mother in Law, Leticia – Thank you, thank you, thank you for giving me the one of the greatest gifts I have ever received – Your daughter! I only wish we had more time together. Thank you for loving me from the very minute we met. Thank you for the tomato sandwiches’ and the Stony Ginger Beer.

Dear readers REMEMBER the good times and the bad and take some time to be nostalgic.